William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President for Pfizer. He leads the Global Product Development organization, which is responsible for the clinical development and advancement of Pfizer’s pipeline of innovative medicines in inflammation and immunology, internal medicine, hospital, oncology, rare disease, and vaccines, as well as regulatory affairs in support of Pfizer’s R&D pipeline and portfolio of marketed medicines and vaccines.
Prior to joining Pfizer in 2022, William served as the Head of Roche Pharma Research & Early Development (pRED), where he oversaw the discovery and early development of a portfolio of new molecular entities to treat diseases related to cancer, neuroscience, ophthalmology, rare diseases, immunology, infectious diseases, and rare blood disorders, across seven global sites. He was also a member of Roche’s Enlarged Corporate Executive Committee.
Before joining Roche, he simultaneously held key positions of Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University, and Director of Personalized Cancer Medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
William is recognized for his ground-breaking work in translational medicine, mechanistic and clinical studies of targeted cancer therapeutics, and for his leadership in cancer genomics and personalized medicine. His laboratory work identiﬁed new molecular mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance of lung cancers to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), yielded important insights into a molecular understanding of lung cancer and other malignancies, and led to the development of multiple therapeutics to treat lung cancer. The author of multiple scientiﬁc and medical publications, William has served as an advisor to numerous professional associations including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and has served on the editorial boards of prestigious medical research journals including Cancer Discovery, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. William also co-founded MyCancerGenome, an internationally recognized online tool to enable a genetically informed approach to cancer medicine. He currently serves as co-chair of the Executive Committee of the NIH Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) public-private partnership and on the Boards of TransCelerate and the American Association for Cancer Research. He was inducted to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2011 and the Association of American Physicians in 2017.
William received his undergraduate degree from Harvard, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. Following his residency training in Internal Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical School Campus, he completed his medical oncology and postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he joined the faculty.